45-49 Health Assessment - Its importance to patients' health

By: Nurse Betty, RN

45-49 Health Assessment - Its importance to patients' health

As a patient, if you are between the ages of 45-49 (inclusive), you undertake an assessment with your Doctor to ascertain whether you have a chronic disease risk factor.

The Doctor utilises their clinical judgement from the health assessment, which is prepared by our experienced Registered Nurses, and based on the identification of a specific risk factor, they will identify if you are at risk of developing a chronic disease.

A health assessment at this stage of life can assist patients to make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease.

Chronic disease risk factors

A chronic disease or condition is one that has been, or is likely to be present for at least six months, including (but not limited to) asthma, cancer, cardiovascular illness, diabetes mellitus, a mental health condition, arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition.

The decision that a patient is at risk of developing a chronic disease is a clinical judgement made by the GP. However, at least one risk factor must be identified. Risk factors that the GP may consider include, but are not limited to:

  • lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition or alcohol use;
  • biomedical risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, impaired glucose metabolism or excess weight; and
  • a family history of a chronic disease.

Components of the health assessment

The health assessment must include:

  • information collection, including taking a patient history and undertaking examinations and investigations as clinically required;
  • making an overall assessment of the patient’s health, including the patient’s readiness to make lifestyle changes;
  • initiating interventions and referrals as clinically indicated;
  • providing advice and information; including strategies to achieve lifestyle and behaviour changes;
  • keeping a record of the health assessment, and offering the patient a written report about the health assessment, with recommendations about matters covered by the health assessment; and
  • offering the patient’s carer (if any, and if the medical practitioner considers it appropriate and the patient agrees) a copy of the report or extracts of the report relevant to the carer.

Patients aged 45 to 49 years (inclusive) who have had a health assessment may also receive a type 2 diabetes risk evaluation if they are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular risk.

If you have already had your health assessment, well done.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the Medical Centre, or any other provider within the clinic.

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